Photographer: Tom Shaw/Getty Images

London Luxury-Home Prices Reduced at Highest Rate Since 2013

  • Home sales in Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea fall
  • Mayfair townhouse was most expensive home sold in January

Sellers of luxury London homes are cutting asking prices on the largest proportion of properties in at least three years as high values, commodity-price declines and new taxes damp demand.

Vendors have cut the asking prices on 39 percent of homes in central London’s best districts since they were first offered for sale, according to data compiled by researcher Lonres in January. That’s up from 33 percent a year earlier, the data shows.

The reductions come ahead of an increase in the stamp-duty sales tax in April to as much as 15 percent for the costliest homes for landlords and second-home buyers. The number of properties sold in the boroughs of Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea fell more than 25 percent from January through October 2015 compared with a year earlier, broker Knight Frank LLP said this month.

“We have lost a whole chunk of the typical investment buyers,” said Roarie Scarisbrick, a partner at Property Vision Ltd., a broker that advises prime-home buyers.“They are put off by stamp duty.”

Values in London’s best districts rose 5 percent in the 12 months through January to a median of more than 932,000 pounds ($1.3 million), according to an analysis of preliminary Land Registry data by Bloomberg. The most expensive home sold in January was a townhouse in Mayfair that fetched 15.7 million pounds. The eight-bedroom property has a roof terrace, cinema room, gym and plunge pool, according to an Internet listing for the property.

Prices across London postcodes rose 12.7 percent in the 12 months through January and the median value is now almost 505,000 pounds, the Land Registry data shows. The average purchaser borrowed 339,000 pounds when buying a home in the U.K. capital in the fourth quarter, according to government statistics.

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